Nothing says fierce like using an apex predator as a brooch. On Monday, Kylie Jenner stole the show at Schiaparelli’s couture runway in Paris when she arrived in a black velvet strapless gown adorned with the life-size head of a lion — a pre-release from the label’s Spring-Summer 2023 couture collection that debuted moments later.
The hyper-realistic faux head (complete with a manicured mane) covered the entirety of Jenner’s torso. She finished the outfit with a pair of black Schiaparelli sling-backs with golden embossed toes
Naomi Campbell walks the runway during the Schiaparelli Haute Couture Spring-Summer 2023. Credit: Estrop/Getty Images
Kylie Jenner attends the Schiaparelli Haute Couture Spring-Summer 2023 show on Monday with a head-turning accessory. Credit: Jacopo Raule/Getty Images
Moments after taking her seat, Jenner’s surreal lion look was spotted again on the runway alongside a series of other animalistic ensembles. According to the show notes, the collection was inspired by Dante’s “Inferno” and the nine circles of hell — a metaphor for the doubt and creative torment all artists experience, wrote creative director Daniel Roseberry
Drawing literally from the three beasts that appear in the 14th century poem, Roseberry reimagined the leopard, the lion and the she-wolf in the collection; “representing lust, pride and avarice respectively.” Naomi Campbell modeled a boxy, black faux fur coat with a wolf’s head emerging from the left shoulder, while Canadian model Shalom Harlow wore a strapless snow leopard tube dress with a roaring feline head bursting through the bust.
The Texan designer leading a historic couture house
The head-turning pieces were constructed entirely by hand from foam resin and other man-made materials. Yet despite Schiaparelli specifying the pieces are “faux-taxidermy,” the visual parallel with trophy hunting means some social media users are finding the collection difficult to appreciate.
But for Roseberry, if the clothes are instilling fear then they’re doing their job. “Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso: One cannot exist without the other,” he concluded in the show notes. “It is a reminder there is no such thing as heaven without hell; there is no joy without sorrow; there is no ecstasy of creation without the torture of doubt.”